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Hackers Exploit Log4j Vulnerability to Infect Computers with Khonsari Ransomware

Hackers Exploit Log4j Vulnerability to Infect Computers with Khonsari Ransomware

December 14, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Romanian cybersecurity technology company Bitdefender on Monday revealed that attempts are being made to target Windows machines with a novel ransomware family called  Khonsari  as well as a remote access Trojan named  Orcus  by exploiting the recently disclosed critical Log4j vulnerability . The attack leverages the remote code execution (RCE) flaw to download an additional payload, a .NET binary, from a remote server that encrypts all the files with the extension ".khonsari" and displays a ransom note that urges the victims to make a Bitcoin payment in exchange for recovering access to the files. Tracked as CVE-2021-44228 , the RCE vulnerability is also known by the monikers "Log4Shell" or "Logjam" and impacts versions 2.0-beta9 to 2.14.1 of the software library. In simple terms, the bug could force an affected system to download malicious software, giving the attackers a digital beachhead on servers located within corporate networks. Log4j is an op
Latest Apple iOS Update Patches Remote Jailbreak Exploit for iPhones

Latest Apple iOS Update Patches Remote Jailbreak Exploit for iPhones

December 14, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Apple on Monday released updates to  iOS ,  macOS ,  tvOS , and  watchOS  with security patches for multiple vulnerabilities, including a remote jailbreak exploit chain as well as a number of critical issues in the Kernel and Safari web browser that were first demonstrated at the Tianfu Cup held in China two months ago. Tracked as CVE-2021-30955, the issue could have enabled a malicious application to execute arbitrary code with kernel privileges. Apple said it addressed the race condition bug with "improved state handling." The flaw also impacts macOS devices. "The kernel bug CVE-2021-30955 is the one we tried [to] use to build our remote jailbreak chain but failed to complete on time," Kunlun Lab's chief executive, @mj0011sec,  said  in a tweet. A set of similar kernel vulnerabilities were eventually harnessed by the Pangu Team at the  Tianfu hacking contest  to break into an iPhone13 Pro running iOS 15, a feat that netted the white hat hackers $330,000 in
Update Google Chrome to Patch New Zero-Day Exploit Detected in the Wild

Update Google Chrome to Patch New Zero-Day Exploit Detected in the Wild

December 14, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Google has rolled out fixes for five security vulnerabilities in its Chrome web browser, including one which it says is being exploited in the wild, making it the  17th such weakness  to be disclosed since the start of the year. Tracked as  CVE-2021-4102 , the flaw relates to a  use-after-free bug  in the V8 JavaScript and WebAssembly engine, which could have severe consequences ranging from corruption of valid data to the execution of arbitrary code. An anonymous researcher has been credited with discovering and reporting the flaw. As it stands, it's not known how the weakness is being abused in real-world attacks, but the internet giant issued a terse statement that said, "it's aware of reports that an exploit for CVE-2021-4102 exists in the wild." This is done so in an attempt to ensure that a majority of users are updated with a fix and prevent further exploitation by other threat actors. CVE-2021-4102 is the second use-after-free vulnerability in V8 the comp
Apache Log4j Vulnerability — Log4Shell — Widely Under Active Attack

Apache Log4j Vulnerability — Log4Shell — Widely Under Active Attack

December 13, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Threat actors are actively weaponizing unpatched servers affected by the newly identified " Log4Shell " vulnerability in Log4j to install cryptocurrency miners, Cobalt Strike, and recruit the devices into a botnet, even as telemetry signs point to exploitation of the flaw nine days before it even came to light. Netlab, the networking security division of Chinese tech giant Qihoo 360,  disclosed  threats such as  Mirai  and  Muhstik  (aka Tsunami) are setting their sights on vulnerable systems to spread the infection and grow its computing power to orchestrate distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks with the goal of overwhelming a target and rendering it unusable. Muhstik was previously spotted exploiting a critical security flaw in Atlassian Confluence ( CVE-2021-26084 , CVSS score: 9.8) earlier this September. The latest development comes as it has emerged that the vulnerability has been under attack for at least more than a week prior to its public disclosure on D
Extremely Critical Log4J Vulnerability Leaves Much of the Internet at Risk

Extremely Critical Log4J Vulnerability Leaves Much of the Internet at Risk

December 11, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
The Apache Software Foundation has released fixes to contain an  actively   exploited  zero-day vulnerability affecting the widely-used Apache Log4j Java-based logging library that could be weaponized to execute malicious code and allow a complete takeover of vulnerable systems. Tracked as  CVE-2021-44228  and by the monikers Log4Shell or LogJam, the issue concerns a case of unauthenticated, remote code execution (RCE) on any application that uses the open-source utility and affects versions Log4j 2.0-beta9 up to 2.14.1. The bug has scored a perfect 10 on 10 in the CVSS rating system, indicative of the severity of the issue. "An attacker who can control log messages or log message parameters can execute arbitrary code loaded from  LDAP  servers when message lookup substitution is enabled," the Apache Foundation  said  in an advisory. "From Log4j 2.15.0, this behavior has been disabled by default." Exploitation can be achieved by a single string of text, which c
Pegasus Spyware Reportedly Hacked iPhones of U.S. State Department and Diplomats

Pegasus Spyware Reportedly Hacked iPhones of U.S. State Department and Diplomats

December 04, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Apple reportedly notified several U.S. Embassy and State Department employees that their iPhones may have been targeted by an unknown assailant using state-sponsored spyware created by the controversial Israeli company NSO Group, according to multiple reports from  Reuters  and  The Washington Post . At least 11 U.S. Embassy officials stationed in Uganda or focusing on issues pertaining to the country are said to have  singled out  using iPhones registered to their overseas phone numbers, although the identity of the threat actors behind the intrusions, or the nature of the information sought, remains unknown as yet. The attacks, which were carried out in the last several months, mark the first known time the sophisticated surveillance software has been put to use against U.S. government employees. NSO Group is the maker of Pegasus , military-grade spyware that allows its government clients to stealthily plunder files and photos, eavesdrop on conversations, and track the whereabou
Warning: Yet Another Zoho ManageEngine Product Found Under Active Attacks

Warning: Yet Another Zoho ManageEngine Product Found Under Active Attacks

December 04, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Enterprise software provider Zoho on Friday warned that a newly patched critical flaw in its Desktop Central and Desktop Central MSP is being actively exploited by malicious actors, marking the third security vulnerability in its products to be abused in the wild in a span of four months. The issue, assigned the identifier  CVE-2021-44515 , is an authentication bypass vulnerability that could permit an adversary to circumvent authentication protections and execute arbitrary code in the Desktop Central MSP server. "If exploited, the attackers can gain unauthorized access to the product by sending a specially crafted request leading to remote code execution," Zoho  cautioned  in an  advisory . "As we are noticing indications of exploitation of this vulnerability, we strongly advise customers to update their installations to the latest build as soon as possible." The company has also made available an  Exploit Detection Tool  that will help customers identify sig
CISA Warns of Actively Exploited Critical Zoho ManageEngine ServiceDesk Vulnerability

CISA Warns of Actively Exploited Critical Zoho ManageEngine ServiceDesk Vulnerability

December 03, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) are warning of active exploitation of a newly patched flaw in Zoho's ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus product to deploy web shells and carry out an array of malicious activities. Tracked as  CVE-2021-44077  (CVSS score: 9.8), the issue relates to an unauthenticated, remote code execution vulnerability affecting ServiceDesk Plus versions up to and including 11305 that, if left unfixed, "allows an attacker to upload executable files and place web shells that enable post-exploitation activities, such as compromising administrator credentials, conducting lateral movement, and exfiltrating registry hives and Active Directory files," CISA  said . "A security misconfiguration in ServiceDesk Plus led to the vulnerability," Zoho  noted  in an independent advisory published on November 22. "This vulnerability can allow an adversary to execute arbitrary code
Critical Wormable Security Flaw Found in Several HP Printer Models

Critical Wormable Security Flaw Found in Several HP Printer Models

November 30, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Cybersecurity researchers on Tuesday disclosed eight-year-old security flaws affecting 150 different multifunction printers (MFPs) from HP Inc that could be potentially abused by an adversary to take control of vulnerable devices, pilfer sensitive information, and infiltrate enterprise networks to mount other attacks. The two weaknesses — collectively called  Printing Shellz  — were discovered and reported to HP by F-Secure Labs researchers Timo Hirvonen and Alexander Bolshev on April 29, 2021, prompting the PC maker to  issue   patches  earlier this month — CVE-2021-39237  (CVSS score: 7.1) - An information disclosure vulnerability impacting certain HP LaserJet, HP LaserJet Managed, HP PageWide, and HP PageWide Managed printers. CVE-2021-39238  (CVSS score: 9.3) - A buffer overflow vulnerability impacting certain HP Enterprise LaserJet, HP LaserJet Managed, HP Enterprise PageWide, and HP PageWide Managed products. "The flaws are in the unit's communications board and
Unpatched Unauthorized File Read Vulnerability Affects Microsoft Windows OS

Unpatched Unauthorized File Read Vulnerability Affects Microsoft Windows OS

November 30, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Unofficial patches have been issued to remediate an improperly patched Windows security vulnerability that could allow information disclosure and local privilege escalation (LPE) on vulnerable systems. Tracked as  CVE-2021-24084  (CVSS score: 5.5), the flaw concerns an information disclosure vulnerability in the Windows Mobile Device Management component that could enable an attacker to gain unauthorized file system access and read arbitrary files. Security researcher Abdelhamid Naceri was credited with discovering and reporting the bug in October 2020, prompting Microsoft to address the issue as part of its February 2021 Patch Tuesday updates. But as  observed  by Naceri in June 2021, not only could the patch be bypassed to achieve the same objective, the researcher this month found that the incompletely patched vulnerability could also be  exploited  to gain administrator privileges and run malicious code on Windows 10 machines running the  latest security updates . "Name
Experts Detail Malicious Code Dropped Using ManageEngine ADSelfService Exploit

Experts Detail Malicious Code Dropped Using ManageEngine ADSelfService Exploit

November 08, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
At least nine entities across the technology, defense, healthcare, energy, and education industries were compromised by leveraging a  recently patched critical vulnerability  in Zoho's ManageEngine ADSelfService Plus self-service password management and single sign-on (SSO) solution. The spying campaign, which was observed starting September 22, 2021, involved the threat actor taking advantage of the flaw to gain initial access to targeted organizations, before moving laterally through the network to carry out post-exploitation activities by deploying malicious tools designed to harvest credentials and exfiltrate sensitive information via a backdoor. "The actor heavily relies on the Godzilla web shell, uploading several variations of the open-source web shell to the compromised server over the course of the operation," researchers from Palo Alto Networks' Unit 42 threat intelligence team  said  in a report. "Several other tools have novel characteristics or ha
Hardcoded SSH Key in Cisco Policy Suite Lets Remote Hackers Gain Root Access

Hardcoded SSH Key in Cisco Policy Suite Lets Remote Hackers Gain Root Access

November 05, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Cisco Systems has released  security updates  to address vulnerabilities in multiple Cisco products that could be exploited by an attacker to log in as a root user and take control of vulnerable systems. Tracked as  CVE-2021-40119 , the vulnerability has been rated 9.8 in severity out of a maximum of 10 on the CVSS scoring system and stems from a weakness in the SSH authentication mechanism of Cisco Policy Suite. "An attacker could exploit this vulnerability by connecting to an affected device through SSH," the networking major explained in an advisory, adding "A successful exploit could allow the attacker to log in to an affected system as the root user." Cisco said the bug was discovered during internal security testing. Cisco Policy Suite Releases 21.2.0 and later will also automatically create new SSH keys during installation, while requiring a manual process to change the default SSH keys for devices being upgraded from 21.1.0. Also addressed by Cisco a
Critical RCE Vulnerability Reported in Linux Kernel's TIPC Module

Critical RCE Vulnerability Reported in Linux Kernel's TIPC Module

November 04, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Cybersecurity researchers have disclosed a security flaw in the Linux Kernel's Transparent Inter Process Communication ( TIPC ) module that could potentially be leveraged both locally as well as remotely to execute arbitrary code within the kernel and take control of vulnerable machines. Tracked as CVE-2021-43267 (CVSS score: 9.8), the heap overflow vulnerability "can be exploited locally or remotely within a network to gain kernel privileges, and would allow an attacker to compromise the entire system," cybersecurity firm SentinelOne  said  in a report published today and shared with The Hacker News. TIPC is a transport layer  protocol   designed  for nodes running in dynamic cluster environments to reliably communicate with each other in a manner that's more efficient and fault-tolerant than other protocols such as TCP. The vulnerability identified by SentinelOne has to do with insufficient validation of user-supplied sizes for a new message type called "
Google Warns of New Android 0-Day Vulnerability Under Active Targeted Attacks

Google Warns of New Android 0-Day Vulnerability Under Active Targeted Attacks

November 03, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Google has rolled out its monthly security patches for Android with fixes for 39 flaws, including a zero-day vulnerability that it said is being actively exploited in the wild in limited, targeted attacks. Tracked as CVE-2021-1048 , the zero-day bug is described as a  use-after-free vulnerability  in the kernel that can be exploited for local privilege escalation. Use-after-free issues are dangerous as it could enable a threat actor to access or referencing memory after it has been freed, leading to a " write-what-where " condition that results in the execution of arbitrary code to gain control over a victim's system. "There are indications that CVE-2021-1048 may be under limited, targeted exploitation," the company  noted  in its November advisory without revealing technical details of the vulnerability, the nature of the intrusions, and the identities of the attackers that may have abused the flaw. Also remediated in the security patch are two critical re
New 'Trojan Source' Technique Lets Hackers Hide Vulnerabilities in Source Code

New 'Trojan Source' Technique Lets Hackers Hide Vulnerabilities in Source Code

November 01, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
A novel class of vulnerabilities could be leveraged by threat actors to inject visually deceptive malware in a way that's semantically permissible but alters the logic defined by the source code, effectively opening the door to more first-party and supply chain risks. Dubbed " Trojan Source attacks ," the technique "exploits subtleties in text-encoding standards such as  Unicode  to produce source code whose tokens are logically encoded in a different order from the one in which they are displayed, leading to vulnerabilities that cannot be perceived directly by human code reviewers," Cambridge University researchers Nicholas Boucher and Ross Anderson said in a newly published paper. The  vulnerabilities  — tracked as CVE-2021-42574 and CVE-2021-42694 — affect compilers of all popular programming languages such as C, C++, C#, JavaScript, Java, Rust, Go, and Python. Compilers are programs that translate high-level human-readable source code into their lower-l
Critical Flaw in OpenSea Could Have Let Hackers Steal Cryptocurrency From Wallets

Critical Flaw in OpenSea Could Have Let Hackers Steal Cryptocurrency From Wallets

October 13, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
A now-patched critical vulnerability in OpenSea, the world's largest non-fungible token ( NFT ) marketplace, could've been abused by malicious actors to drain cryptocurrency funds from a victim by sending a specially-crafted token, opening a new attack vector for exploitation. The findings come from cybersecurity firm Check Point Research, which began an investigation into the platform following public reports of stolen cryptocurrency wallets triggered by free airdropped NFTs. The issues were fixed in less than one hour of responsible disclosure on September 26, 2021. "Left unpatched, the vulnerabilities could allow hackers to hijack user accounts and steal entire cryptocurrency wallets by crafting malicious NFTs," Check Point researchers  said . As the name indicates, NFTs are unique digital assets such as photos, videos, audio, and other items that can be sold and traded on the blockchain, using the technology as a certificate of authenticity to establish a ver
Code Execution Bug Affects Yamale Python Package — Used by Over 200 Projects

Code Execution Bug Affects Yamale Python Package — Used by Over 200 Projects

October 07, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
A high-severity code injection vulnerability has been disclosed in 23andMe's Yamale, a schema and validator for YAML, that could be trivially exploited by adversaries to execute arbitrary Python code. The flaw, tracked as  CVE-2021-38305  (CVSS score: 7.8), involves manipulating the schema file provided as input to the tool to circumvent protections and achieve code execution. Particularly, the  issue  resides in the schema parsing function, which allows any input passed to be evaluated and executed, resulting in a scenario where a specially-crafted string within the schema can be abused for the injection of system commands. Yamale is a Python package that allows developers to validate YAML — a data serialization language often used for writing configuration files — from the command line. The package is used by at least  224 repositories  on GitHub.  "This gap allows attackers that can provide an input schema file to perform Python code injection that leads to code execut
Update Google Chrome ASAP to Patch 2 New Actively Exploited Zero-Day Flaws

Update Google Chrome ASAP to Patch 2 New Actively Exploited Zero-Day Flaws

October 01, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Google on Thursday pushed urgent security fixes for its Chrome browser, including a pair of new security weaknesses that the company said are being exploited in the wild, making them the fourth and fifth actively zero-days plugged this month alone. The issues, designated as  CVE-2021-37975 and CVE-2021-37976 , are part of a total of four patches, and concern a  use-after-free flaw  in V8 JavaScript and WebAssembly engine as well as an information leak in core. As is usually the case, the tech giant has refrained from sharing any additional details regarding how these zero-day vulnerabilities were used in attacks so as to allow a majority of users to be updated with the patches, but noted that it's aware that "exploits for CVE-2021-37975 and CVE-2021-37976 exist in the wild." An anonymous researcher has been credited with reporting CVE-2021-37975. The discovery of CVE-2021-37976, on the other hand, involves Clément Lecigne from Google Threat Analysis Group, who was al
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